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PUSH Articles - October 2022

Help Desk Jim Cerny (501 words)Sometimes you just need a quick word of help or options to consider using your tech devices or apps. Our "Help Desk" meets every month the second Wednesday after our regular monthly

A Cautionary Tale of Cloud-Based Apps Joel Ewing (Approx. 2403 words). Insteon Home Automation - Around 2014, Joel started using Insteon home automation devices to control some plug-in electrical around his house. This article is about his adventures with Insteon.

A Tour of the Yahoo Finance Website, Part 1, Tom Burt (Approx. 1166 words). Among my various activities for the Computer Club, I moderate the Internet Investing SIG. A key part of those meetings is looking at the financial markets and also individual stocks and funds. My favorite website for doing that is the Yahoo Finance site: I also use Yahoo Finance extensively to track my stock and fund holdings and follow other stocks and funds I'm interested in. This month and next, we'll tour the Yahoo Finance site.

A Tour of the Yahoo Finance Website, Part 2, Tom Burt (Approx. 1051 words). Yahoo Finance Portfolios - A Yahoo Finance portfolio is a named list of stocks, bonds, funds, or options. You can create lists of securities you own or watch, usually with some interest in buying or possibly short selling. A portfolio is displayed as a table with either a Yahoo pre-defined view or a custom view you created. A View specifies a set of data columns whose values will be displayed for each security row of the table. You can enter multiple lots bought at different times and prices for a portfolio of securities you own.

Android Apps on Windows 11 - Well, I'll be! Phil Sorrentino (Approx. 1046 words). Many apps that run on Androidsmartphones and tablets may soon be running on Windows 11 machines. As of February 2022, only in the US are Android apps available for Windows. A new addition to Windows 11, "Windows Subsystem for Android," will enable
your Windows 11 device to run Android applications that are available in the Amazon App store. That may sound a bit confusing since Apps for Windows usually come from the Microsoft store. Be that as it may, this feature may eventually prove useful.

Are Free Public Phone Charging Stations Safe? Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 760 words). iPhone or Android smartphone's battery is draining fast, and the battery power is down to single digits. Furthermore, the battery icon has just turned from green to red, meaning your phone is nearly drained. Soon it will be as useless as an electric kettle in a cave.

Backup, Dick Maybach (Approx. 1257 words). Life is constantly changing, meaning we should occasionally review our habits to see if they are still appropriate, and this is true for PC backups. So let's take a high-level look at the subject. Your situation is undoubtedly different from mine, and your approaches will most likely differ. Two basic backup techniques are copying the entire disk (cloning) and file-by-file.

Bluetooth Adapters - Do I need one? Phil Sorrentino (Approx. 954 words). The short answer is no if all your devices have Bluetooth incorporated in them, but yes, if you have a non-Bluetooth device that you would like to use with other Bluetooth devices. A Bluetooth adapter allows a non-Bluetooth device to work with a Bluetooth device. The adapter does this by providing Bluetooth electronics for the non-Bluetooth device. Bluetooth is a wireless communications standard for interconnecting electronic devices

Buying a New Computer, David Kretchmar (Approx. 1082 words) From time to time, every computer specialist is asked, "What computer should I buy?" The answer is usually, "What do you intend to do with it, and how much can you afford?" This article addresses the major decisions required if you are buying a new computer.

Cheaper to Buy than Build? David Kretchmar (Approx. 769 words) Many experts suggest you replace a computer about every six years. Usually, by the time a computer is six years old, it is nearing the end of its useful life or at least is in danger of becoming unreliable. At some point in our relationship with any computer, the machine will slow and begin to test our patience. Unfortunately, users will often tolerate a system's sluggishness for far too long rather than deal with the hassle of setting up a new computer, even if they can reasonably afford a new system.

"Default" apps or programs in Windows, Jim Cerny (Approx. 682 words). In case you forgot, "default" means: "This is what you get until you change it to something else." Computer technology is full of defaults (you may have heard the term "default settings").

Desktop Publishing, Dick Maybach (Approx. 1140 words). Modern word processors have extensive formatting capabilities, but if you produce posters, newsletters, or brochures, you may need a competent desktop publishing program such as Scribus, You begin with the text, created by a word processor, and graphics, created by a graphics program, and use the desktop publisher to organize them into a poster, leaflet, or newsletter. Scribus is free and open-source; you can easily experiment with it to see if it fits your needs.

Experts: DON'T Charge Your Smartphone or Tablet Overnight - Your Battery Will Thank You, Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 739 words) Many of us who own iPhones, iPads, Android phones, or similar devices charge them while we sleep. So, as we're napping, our phones and tablets slowly charge their batteries. Then, when we awake, we're ready to take on the day, and so are the devices on which we depend-ready with a 100% charge.

Fixing a Nasty Computer Hack, David Kretchmar (Approx. 886 words). I recently completed a repair on a club member's computer after he allowed a "helpful" technical representative, probably from the other side of the world, to remotely access his computer. Unfortunately, the victim in this case apparently failed to read or heed my article in the November 2021 Gigabyte Gazette (warning that these types of scams were becoming increasingly prevalent.

Flatpaks with Linux Mint, Cal Esneault (Approx. 353 words). Linux software is installed using pre-compiled "packages." The traditional method, called dynamic packaging, separately installs the main application and additional supporting sub-components ("dependencies). Mint uses the Debian package management system and provides a graphical Software Manager program to help users install new software. To minimize developer efforts, new software versions usually only appear at two-year intervals (note: security and bug fixes appear as soon as they are available).

Free Music with Freegal, Tom Burt (Approx. 727 words). One of my occasional Computer Club seminars touches on the many electronic resources available for free via the Las Vegas / Clark County library website. (One of those resources I briefly review is a service called Freegal (short for Free and legal). This article gives you an overview of Freegal, which has an extensive collection of music tracks and albums you can play. They also allow you to download up to 6 tracks per week for free. You might want to check to see if Freegal is available at your library.

Freshly Squeezed Review: Podcasts That Uncover Buried Treasure Frank Petrie (Approx. 565 words). In this review, I want to tell you about three podcasts I have found indispensable. They range in length anywhere from 7 minutes to 15 minutes. However, they have in common one thing: revealing hidden, extremely productive features cloaked in Apple's apps. Features turn what you thought was a basic, mundane, unimaginative app into a tiny, powerful gem.

Freshly Squeezed Reviews: Anker Conf 200 Webcam Frank Petrie (Approx. 823 words). Because of our situation over the past several years, virtual meetings have become mainstream faster than anyone could have hoped, be it for professional conferencing, personal hook-ups, or family gatherings. As a result, webcams that were already at a premium skyrocketed in the blink of an eye.

Interesting Internet Finds, Steve Costello - May

Interesting Internet Finds, Steve Costello - June

Interesting Internet Finds, Steve Costello - July

Interesting Internet Finds, Steve Costello - August

Interesting Internet Finds, Steve Costello - September

Internet Tips and Tricks - Can you live without it? Jim Cerny (Approx. 629 words). Ah, the Internet - gateway to the world, endless knowledge, the master of all trivia, hot breaking news, entertainment, and boundless exploration. We all enjoy the Internet for many reasons. So, let's explore and review some of the basics of the Internet so we can enjoy using it even more.

Intro to IP Addresses and Port Numbers, John Krout (Approx. 1969 words). Much of what we all do with computers is based on communication with other computers through a digital network. Email, web browsing and streaming video are three of many examples. All that communication is based on Internet Protocol (IP) addresses and a related concept called port numbers. This article will explain those concepts and how the device which provides your home Wi-Fi, called a router, plays a critical role in digital network communication.

Is Your Life Boring? Spice it Up By Becoming a Victim of Scammers and Thieves! Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 516 words). If you're bored to tears, why not put more excitement into your life by becoming a victim? Follow the tips below, and you're sure to find yourself quite busy as you try and dig yourself out of trouble. But at least you won't be bored!

It's time to learn more about your iPhone Clock, Jim Cerny (Approx. 718 words). Most of us have and use an iPhone, and it comes with a great and straightforward app called simply "clock." The app icon looks like an actual clock, and the app icon itself shows you the correct time. So, let's open the "clock" app and see what it can do for us.

Microsoft Windows in "S Mode," Paul Baecker (Approx. 531 words). Someone recently asked me for my opinion on a sale-priced laptop at a local store and whether I'd recommend its purchase. An HP laptop with an Intel i5 CPU with a Passmark rating of 691, 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD, 17" screen, Windows 11, backlit keyboard, and full HD display. A decently powered mobile PC on sale for only $399 was advertised as "$300 off their regular price." What could be wrong with this selection?

Most of Us Get It Wrong: Not Just Teenagers Depend Upon the Internet, Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 547 words). 70% of seniors are now online and using technology, reports the World Economic Forum in July 2019. Yet, when it comes to the Internet, the website claims it's - No Longer Just For the Young.

Most Wished-For New Tech, Greg Skalka (Approx. 1227 words). We seem to have so much technology in our lives - how could we want more? But, I'm writing this on President's Day, and I wonder, if George Washington could be transported in time to today, would he be able to cope in our world? Beyond the social and economic changes he would face, would he be able to deal with our technology? Cars, trains, airplanes, radio, TV, cell phones, space travel, nuclear bombs - would he be able to understand any of it, or would he want to hide up in a cherry tree? There is a saying: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Personal Computer Databases-An Overview, Tom Burt (Approx. 1177 words). I've spent much of my career in software development, working with various database programs, including a stint at Ashton-Tate / Borland as Director of the dBase development team. For this month's Tech Notes discussion, we'll do an overview of what database technology is available for regular personal computer users. Interestingly, some of the best database programs are free. The tradeoff is that you have to invest some time learning how to use them.

Power Basics, Dick Maybach (Approx. 1040 words). Electrical power is remarkably reliable, especially considering that much of the system is exposed to the elements and sometimes wildlife. On the rare occasions when it does fail, it will be helpful if you know a bit about it. Troubleshooting by candlelight is seldom quick, and ignorance won't make it faster.

QR Code Scams - Be careful where you point that smartphone Phil Sorrentino (1177 words)

Saved by Macrium Reflect-How I recovered from a Driver Disaster, Tom Burt (Approx. 1291 words). For several years, I have used the free Macrium Reflect backup software program ( back up my PC's hard drives. My PC has a 500 GB solid-state drive (C:) and a 1 TB hard drive (E:). C: is for the Windows operating system, user profile folders, installed applications, temp storage, and a few other file types that benefit from the high performance of the SSD. E: is for storing all the data files that various programs use and for cross-network backup of various shared folders on my wife's PC.

Streaming Surpasses Cable TV as the Way Most People Watch Television, Kurt Jefferson (Approx. 594 words). More people are streaming TV shows and movies for the first time rather than watching cable TV programs. In fact, the total time spent viewing streaming services in July soared nearly 23% over one year ago.

TECH-NO-PHOBIA - are YOU a VICTIM YET? Jim Cerny (Approx. 638 words). How did all this happen so quickly? Some days I feel like I am left in the dust behind the high-speed train technology. Yes, I am glad technology is progressing. We all benefit from the advances in health care, safety, entertainment, and portability. But there is a downside too. What do you find overwhelming about technology? Let's compare some everyday things from the past to today's latest internet-connected mega-optioned computer-controlled devices.

Timeshift Rescue, Cal Esneault (Approx. 368 words). Any software update involving a PC operating system (OS) has the possibility of causing serious issues. Therefore, Linux Mint added a default OS backup application called "Timeshift." In 2019, Mint started assuming you were using this program so that it could release updates without previous complicated warning messages. After installing Mint 20.3, I set the weeklyTimeshift backup schedule with retention of only the latest three images to save disk space. A review of the Timeshift log at the time of an incident is shown below.

Ventoy, Dick Maybach (Approx. 1039 words). Some years ago, Linux live CD-ROMs appeared. When these were mounted on a PC, it would boot directly from them and not require access to the hard disk. Later we saw live DVDs and then live USB memory sticks and SD cards. A limitation was that each distribution used an entire storage device. Ventoy,, which is available for Windows and Linux, removes this restriction. In this article, I'll cover what Ventoy does, how to set it up, and how you can use it.

What Makes a Great Organization Great? Jim Cerny (659 words) Most "non-profit" organizations exist to help others. They help in the community and have a mission and goals. Although I am writing this article for the members of our organization, the Sarasota Technical Users Group, I hope this article will benefit many members of other organizations and yours too

Wi-Fi Hotspot and USB Tether, John Krout (Approx. 1281 words). Many environments do not provide either reliable Wi-Fi or high-speed Wi-Fi. In those environments, some find that the only way to provide internet access for a computer is to enable a smartphone to provide a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Windows 11 OneDrive and a Microsoft Account-An Offer You Can't Refuse? David Kretchmar (Approx. 632 words). OneDrive is cloud storage that is built into the Windows 11 operating system. Microsoft has integrated OneDrive more closely into Windows 11 than Windows 10, presumably to get more users onboard with what OneDrive offers. In this article, I'm not going to get into the "nuts and bolts" of the operation of OneDrive in Windows 11 but discuss some advantages of using OneDrive, and hopefully convince users who have not taken advantage of this feature to consider it.

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